What have you been reading lately? Here's my list:
2015 SCBWI Sid Fleischman Humor Award winner, EVIL LIBRARIAN, by Michelle Knudson, is funny! Also a bit creepy, with plenty of high school romance thrown in to make a thoroughly enjoyable read. Cyn's best friend, Annie, falls in love with the new librarian at school, but he turns out to be a demon. Luckily Cyn's crush, Ryan, is on board with trying to rid the school of anything not entirely human. Warning: there may be sequels. (YA)
THE TAPPER TWINS GO TO WAR (with each other), by Geoff Rodkey, is a good example of an engaging story told through interviews, text messages, photos, and screenshots. It describes a war between twins Claudia and Reese that begins with a misunderstanding (who really ate that last toaster pastry??) and escalates into a series of embarrassing pranks (cyber and otherwise) played out in front of their Upper West Side prep school's sixth grade class. The characters are well-defined and the format makes this a light, enjoyable read with heart. First in a series. (MG)
I am one lucky author. When my former editor left Dutton in 2006 I was assigned the wonderful Steve Meltzer. Over the years Steve has become one of my good buddies as well as my outstanding editor. Generous to a fault, he always takes my calls, was game to be interviewed for my blog tour and endures my requests for a Writing Tip of the Day every time I see him. Today's Tip is about submitting.
This month's Book Pick is the Newbery Honor book, EL DEAFO, by Cece Bell.
EL DEAFO is a graphic novel memoir based on Cece's experiences growing up deaf (she contracted meningitis at age four and it left her without the ability to hear). She's horrified by the large and obvious Phonic Ear device she has to wear at school, which marks her as unmistakably different from everyone else. Lonely and alienated, Cece has trouble speaking up for herself. She creates an alter ego, El Deafo, who is powerful enough to say what Cece cannot, but for the most part El Deafo's assertiveness remains in Cece's mind (and is contained in comic strip thought bubbles).
Cece's troubles are not so different from those of any other kid who feels different while growing up. Basically, she wants a good friend who really "gets" her. Unfortunately, many of the friends she makes along the way do not, but that's a pretty typical childhood thing. Cece develops a crush when a new boy moves onto her block and, with love in the picture, she finds a way to use her Phonic Ear to great advantage.